Gov't told to exhaust all remedies vs junking of Marcos forfeiture case

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2019 08:19 PM | Updated as of Oct 25 2019 08:28 PM

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MANILA - After the Sandiganbayan dismissed another case against the Marcos family involving millions of ill-gotten wealth for insufficiency of evidence, veteran human rights lawyer Chel Diokno called on the government to revisit charges against the family.

"I think the government should revisit all of the pending cases against the Marcoses and find out what is going wrong and do something about it," Diokno told ANC Friday.

The Sandiganbayan 4th Division dismissed Civil Case No. 0007 involving the forfeiture of an estimated P267 million ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses through spouses Fe and Ignacio Gimenez.

In a decision promulgated October 14, 2019, the anti-graft court granted the demurrer to evidence filed by the Gimenezes for "insufficiency of evidence."

There were only photocopied documents as pieces of evidence and proof that money was siphoned off to foreign countries, or that the Marcoses acquired expensive works of art and real estate properties under the name of the Gimenezes.

Diokno, however, questioned the Sandiganbayan why it dismissed the rap only this month due to defective pieces of proof, when the case was filed in 1987.

"Why did it take the government this long to prosecute and for the court to decide the case?" he said.

"We have to get to the bottom of this. Anong nangyari du'n sa mga dokumento na 'yun? Bakit hindi napresenta yung mga original?" he added.

Early this month, the Sandiganbayan 2nd Division dismissed another case involving former President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda as well as Rustan’s Commercial Corporation founders Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and Gliceria Tantoco, involving an estimated P1.052 billion ill-gotten wealth, for insufficient evidence also.

Before that, the same anti-graft court dismissed the P102-billion forfeiture complaint against the Marcoses and their cronies for lack of proof.

At least 19 other Marcos civil cases are still pending at the Sandiganbayan.